Though our house was built in 1906, the garage that you see above wasn’t added until 1916. Not that the original owners didn’t have cars prior to that, it’s just that up until then I’d guess the north side of the house was probably a driveway that climbed up from the curb, and any vehicles were parked on it or in the rear. The latter is true because occasionally the backyard gives up a remnant of a jalopy… a fragment of a license plate or mystery piece of metal.
I love our garage, not only because of its sheer unreinforced river-rock walls (the back one essentially a retaining wall holding back about 10 feet of hillside), but because the builders had the sense and decency to install some nice split-level concrete work, thereby eliminating theÂ downward slope of the street.
I can only imagine the variety of cars that sat on that cement over all those years, but I can bet once you got into the 1950s, there wasn’t much in the way ofÂ land yachts resting here, at least none whose nose or ass didn’t block a bit of the sidewalk.Â The dimensions were plenty big enough for cars of the early 1900s,Â but bigger wasn’t better if you wanted to secure your chariot behind a closed garage door. In fact, our test drive of the Ford EscapeÂ we bought this past summer consisted of us driving one home and making sure it would fit. Obviously, it did.
I also love our garage because there’s strictly no room for clutter. One look at our basement contradicts the organized neatness of this space, and that’s simply because we can’t afford to waste any of it and put two vehiclesÂ in there.
As much as I profess my adoration, I’d demolish it in a second if I won the lottery — and I’d need to win the lottery do do what I’d want with it. I’d widen it a few feet to the south, and rebuild the walls to code (cha-ching!), facing them with the salvaged river rock. Then on top of it I’d build a second-floor studio space, entirely in the craftsman style of the house, of course. Plumbing electricity, the works. It would be awesome. But for now and maybe for as long as I park in it, it’s awesome as is.